March 17, 2007

Bulgarians mark rescue of Jews

From JTA:

Bulgarians paid tribute to the 64th anniversary of the rescue ofthe country's Jewish population from the Nazis. Bulgarians laid flowers Thursday at the memorial plaques near Saint Sofia Cathedral in honor of those who supported the Jews. Parliamentary Chief Georgi Pirinski laid flowers at a plaque near the National Assembly in Sofia, recalling the valor of parliamentarians during World War II who stood up for Jews. Although aligned with Germany during World War II, Bulgaria refused the Nazi order to deport any of its 50,000 Jews to death camps thanks to the efforts of the government, the Orthodox Church and especially King Boris III. The government's final decision to reject the Nazi demand was made March 10, 1943. The current government set March 10 as the Day of Holocaust Victims.The Jewish organization in Bulgaria Shalom, Etnopalitra Foundation and the Association for Friendship and Collaboration between Bulgaria and Israel also organized ceremonies in Sofia.